Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tomorrow is the BIG DAY

Tomorrow, we launch our project of making a piece of Mail Art everyday. We've got 20 people signed on to the project, and our member down under, posted the first piece of Mail Art, since 1 Dec. arrived in Australia before it did for those of us in other parts of the world. You can check on our progress at our blog here.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Mail Art

 While we were in New Jersey for our thanksgiving holiday, this piece of Mail Art arrived. What a nice treat to find it waiting for me. The octopus immediately made me think of Carlos Botana's "el Pulpo" Mail Art projects, so at first I thought it was related to that. See my entry as part of this book here. When I turned it over, lovely surprise, it was from a former student who is now in Graduate school in Kansas, USA.
I'm sending this one to her as a response. Also, it'll be the last piece of Mail Art that I send out - until the start of our MailArt365 project begins on 1 December 2010.

I'm thinking about who'll get the first to be sent, which has turned out to be a difficult decision for me. I might put names in a "hat" and pull one. What do you think? Should I do it with a random drawing?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Some views of my city.

Sauers spice factory
 A few days ago, I decided to document some things in my neighborhood. This is the Sauer's plant. We call it the spice factory though they also do flavoring extracts as you can see by the sign. They have a terrific electric light bulb sign which is to the left and perpendicular to this building. It's for mayonnaise and some night I'll try to get a photo of it to post here. I took this photo from the car as I passed by (I was NOT driving at the time.)
Science Museum
 This is the Science Museum of Virginia, which is a short walk from my house. It's where I go almost every Friday morning for my Spanish Meet-up group. It was a train station when we first moved to Richmond. It's still very elegant inside.

This is the monument to Jefferson Davis. He was president of the Confederate States of American during our civil war. Richmond was the capitol and the conflict sort of never ended for southerners. This monument is located, of course, in the middle of the intersection of Monument Avenue and Davis St. I pass by it every time I walk to Meet-up.
Jefferson Davis monument

Grand Kugel
This is the Kugel that is located in front of the Science Museum. It weighs tons yet is floats and rotates on a constant flow of water at the base. You can kind of see it at the bottom of the globe.

It was a beautiful day when I took these photos and the days since have continued to be so mild and clear. Lucky us! I think it's going to change in the next day or so.

We, however, are headed north for Thanksgiving, where the weather is going to be lots colder and wetter. brrrrr. Happy holiday to those who celebrate it! And happy, in general, to those who don't.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Another assortment

Better World Books & free chocolate!
81 postcard blanks

My friend Susan suggested a new (for me) author and I was able to buy 5 of her books from the Bargain Bin at Better World Books, my fave site for used books because of their support of literacy programs.  The books arrived today with a surprise in the package. A bar of chocolate! It was a thank you from my friends at BWB. Divine Chocolate, and it is yummy, I've already tried it, is from a co-op in Guapa Kokoo, Ghana.  I wanted these books to read when I travel as I can leave them for others to read.

I've signed on to a new project. I'm trying not to feel 'daunted already as it hasn't started yet. My friend Andy, of Real Wall fame, started a 365 Mail Art group at IUOMA and created a blogspot blog for us to post creations. Yes, we're pledging  to make a piece of mail art every day for a year. We'll post our Mail art on the blog and some of us will then mail them out into the world. I'm preparing by cutting out postcard blanks. We'll start on Dec. 1st. If my son could do it, I can do it, right? See my son's new book by clicking on the link to the right, under "Sponsor." His book is really super neat! Very inspiring. How super neat that my own son is inspiring ME!  
I wanted you to see my bowl of tangerines. We got them this afternoon and they echo the colors of the trees on our street right now. Autumn is definitely here.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

An assortment of things

Wire sketches

Letter openers
Studio view

where I've been spending lots of time
I decided to show you my REAL WALL, which is a term that my IUOMA friend, Andytgeezer, uses to show his postcards. You won't believe how his blog looks like a certain social network site. Check it out here.Such a clever guy! Anyway, my wall is such a jumble these days. Andy's recent Mail Art in on the wall, among other items.

I spend a lot of time at my sewing machine these days in preparation for the Bizarre Market holiday shop. I love the view out my window, nothing but sky and a giant holly tree, and sometimes birds. On the window ledge, I have lots of my small wire sketches.  I collect the wire bindings from old calendars, paper sample books, and others items before the paper part gets tossed into the recycling bin. I make "action sketches" out of the wire.

I've been wanting a letter opener for a long time. I saw one on-line that I wanted but it's no longer available, a very modern metal one by Montblanc (of pen fame.) I went onto eBay and found these two, one a plastic replica of an ivory item and the other a vintage plastic opener. They were each less than a USD. I'm quite happy with both of them. They work!! No more ripping open mail with my fingers, I can nicely neatly slice it open.   I write and receive lots of real mail, and felt badly about wrecking the envelopes. Okay, I know, I could use a knife, but a special opener is cool.

Now back to my studio!

Monday, November 15, 2010

A little birdie Pocket

 This is a Pocket that I named "Henny" for some reason. I can't remember why! It used to be in my Etsy shop but now it'll be in the Bizarre Market Holiday shop, which I'm excited about. The shop is going to be in the little room upstairs of our wonderful Indie Bookstore, Chop Suey. It'll open up 26 November, which is the day after the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday, and will stay open until 24 Dec. I've been busy making lots of Pockets out of Ikea cotton and vintage fabrics, including tea towels. It's fun for me to do this but I hope I sell some stuff so I can make more stuff. There's just so much storage space, if you get my drift.   If you're in the neighborhood, stop into the shop.
These are two of the many Purses for Change that'll be in the BZM Holiday Shop.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Beautiful Autumn

Our street
 What a day yesterday! Crisp air, a bit of a chilly, blue sky, leaves changing color, combined to make us feel so appreciative of the changing seasons.
Grove Ave.

In front of Fox Elementary school

Monument Ave @ Robinson
I took photos while Chuck was driving. Not bad for shooting through the windows, right?

The Richmond Marathon happened the same day, many streets were still closed when we finally got out, but only a few runners were left to complete the race. I think the weather was good for runners. I remember some years when they had to deal with rain and other years when it was so hot out.

We had friends who lived on the route and would have a party during the race, and we'd all stand by the street and clap and cheer for the runners. They all looked so dazed.

I'm assuming that afterwards there is some sort of high. The reward for completing something so grueling. Me, I'm happy I can walk these days, as I have tendonitis in one knee. Hopefully, that'll be cleared up soon as we have some trips planned that will include much walking. More on this in the future.

Meanwhile, I hope the weather is lovely wherever you live. If not today, then another day!

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Sunday Art time

 Today, I'm "recovering" from the excitement of the Peace Educ. Center fundraising auction. What an event! I decided to finish two small collages and frame them up today. They are both headed to other fundraisers. "Lapin" is framed in a 9" x 11" (22cm x 27cm appx.) blonde wood frame but the collage itself is lots smaller. The same with "A Small Wonder: Papillon," framed in a 10" x 10" frame (25cm x 25cm appx.) but quite a small collage. I'm sorry that I didn't put a dark paper behind it when I was scanning so you could see more than a vague hint of where the white background ends. Oh well. I used French words as titles because the original collages were made in Paris awhile ago. I worked on them a bit more this past week and finished them today. It felt so nice to spend time with them again.  Also, I cleaned up my work table last week and that made it easier to find what I needed.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Thrift Store shopping

Last week, I went to a new, for me, thrift shop with my friend Bridget. who gets lots of her collage materials here (old patterns, old books, etc.) Things are very inexpensive at this shop, which is in a very large space in an old shopping center on the other side of the river from where I live. It's filled with cast off stuff of other people's lives. Dishes, glassware, clothing, books, furniture, toys, decorations for holidays, jewelry, things and more things. I bought books for 30¢ a piece and rolls of ribbon (to use for displaying items at the Richmond Peace Education Center auction) for 30¢ and a letter holder for 50¢ (which has really helped tidy my studio work table) and this cute little glass jug, for 99¢. I got this little jub because my mother-in-law had a large version of this. My honey thinks it's 1950s, or mid-century as things are now designated. The jug holds 1 1/3 C (300 ml) and is 6" tall (15 cm appx.) It's so sweet. I'm going to use it to hold home made vinagrette, but I think it's meant for individual tea or coffee.  Have you seen anything like this? Do you have any information about it? I'd love to know more about this.   Okay, I just went to eBay and look what I found here.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Vegan Apple cake and a squirrel

I made a really delish vegan apple cake from a recipe that my daughter created. The recipe is here. Because we make our own applesauce, there are a lot of apple cores to be dispersed, rather than tossed in the garbage bin. I put them in our big tree in the back garden. In the notch of the tree and in a little place where some shoots had been cut off leaving prongs of sorts.  Yesterday, my husband came up to my studio and said "quick, there's a squirrel sitting there eating the apple core." It was still there when I got to the kitchen window and I scored this photo of it. So cute how it held the core and ate all around it.

This morning, while returning from a walk over to have my doctor check out myh achy knee, I came upon a squirrel lying in the alley behind my house. I thought, Oh, no, it's the little apple chomping fellow. When I entered my back garden, another squirrel was sitting on the edge of my garage! Probably the apple core chomper, right?

PS my knee is fine, just a bout of tendonitis. Whew!